What Makes A “Great” Leader?

Somewhere in our life we have seen what we consider to be great leaders and we have been exposed to horrible ones. What is our definition of great?

It will vary from person to person based on their own view of what leadership truly means. There are some universal truths found in leadership though.

  1. Great leaders are servants. They serve their community, they serve their employees, and they serve their customers.
  2. Great leaders make mistakes. We will never grow without mistakes or failure.
  3. Great leaders are always learning and growing. The only way we can continue to deliver leadership that is above par is by pushing ourselves.

Pretty small list right? Again, that’s because “great” leaders don’t have a one-size fits all package or even situations.

A great leader whose community requires more gentle handling and nudging, may not be a great leader in say the military, which often needs quick and decisive orders to be followed to save lives. A great leader in the arts may not be a great leader in the math community (and yes both have room for leadership).

If we want to truly develop leadership in ourselves and others, we also need to be mindful on what motivates them. If they are in the retail industry but despise doing retail, they are going to have a difficult time ever becoming a leader in it.

What makes a great leader to me? On top of the above list, I feel a great leader is someone who has a lot of creativity and who is also willing to empower those under me. My leadership industry is customer service, operational efficiency, and management. Creativity to problem solving and empowerment is the name of the game.

What makes a great leader in your eyes?


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